Dear fellow shareowners,
We are fortunate to participate in an industry that is diversified across brands, categories, channels and countries; a thriving industry with strong relative growth within the consumer packaged goods space; and an industry in which our Company is uniquely positioned for disciplined growth in 2018 and beyond.
As the world's leading nonalcoholic beverage company, we have the world's most valuable brand portfolio, leading value share positions across multiple categories and, thanks to our nearly 250 bottling partners around the world, unparalleled distribution capabilities. And yet, after nearly 132 years of nurturing this business, we still have ample room to grow.
Early last year, I introduced five strategic priorities to drive accelerated growth for our Company and value for our shareowners. I'm happy to report on our progress. In 2017, we achieved or exceeded our full-year guidance, solidified our leadership position and recommitted to our long-term growth targets.
What follows is a snapshot of how our priorities are fueling these results.
1) Accelerating the growth of our consumer-centric brand portfolio
The key to unlocking further growth is to start with the consumer, offering people a variety of beverages that make everyday moments more enjoyable. We refer to this as "Beverages for Life”– a vision that combines the brand-building expertise that has created 21 billion-dollar brands with a nimbler, test-and-learn approach to launching new products around the world. Last year, we expanded our consumer-centric brand portfolio by launching more than 500 products. We also rapidly scaled Honest Tea® and glaceau smartwater® into multiple international markets. And we launched
We are balancing our focus on large brands while responding to emerging consumer trends, making targeted investments in juices, teas, coffees and other categories that complement people's diverse lifestyles. This includes beverages with organic and natural ingredients, with reduced sugar or new sugar alternatives, and with more vitamins, minerals and protein.
2) Driving revenue growth
We are continuously refining our revenue growth management practices to ensure we have the right price and package combinations in the marketplace to best meet consumer needs and desires. We are turning challenges into opportunities by, for example, introducing smaller package sizes that enable people to reduce calories while driving revenue growth and margin expansion. We are intensifying our focus on premium experiences with brands like Topo Chico or ViO Schorle, premium waters and spritzers with a disciplined approach to value over volume in the categories we participate in.
3) Strengthening our global system
Our bottling system continues to provide a competitive advantage through its global reach and local presence. Last year, we completed the refranchising of our bottling operations in the United States and China – key milestones in our strategy to strengthen our bottling system. We now have a better capitalized, more energized and highly-focused bottling system. Returning the Company to a capital-light asset model means that we can reinvest in brand building and innovation while our bottling partners can focus on driving execution.
Our bottling partners are not only crucial to getting our brands to market, they are the local face of the
4) Digitizing our enterprise
Digital touches every part of our business, and we need to continuously adapt. We are doing so with a focus on consumers, customers and our internal systems. As our consumers continue to digitize their shopping habits, we are putting our beverages within a click's reach of desire. We are re-engineering our supply chain and using data to inform our decisions. And we are modernizing internal systems, empowering associates and allowing them to act with more speed and independence.
5) Unlocking the power of our people
We have made substantial changes to empower our associates. During the year, we introduced the role of Chief Growth Officer and appointed new management at the majority of our operations in the field. Change can sometimes be difficult, but it is necessary to drive the business forward. For example, we reduced our corporate office headcount to create a leaner, more agile organization and create more empowered, accountable business units in the field; and we changed our compensation model, introducing metrics that incentivize growth.
Perhaps most importantly, we are fostering a growth culture that encourages accountability, performance and ownership, where our associates are curious, inclusive, empowered and embrace a test-and-learn mentality. We must be curious about the outside world, about how the consumer is changing, about the customer strategy and how value is created. We must be inclusive, open to ideas and to learning, seeking new opportunities and ways to partner with our bottlers to grow our leadership position. Each of us needs to feel empowered and able to turn our insights into action. And we must act faster and experiment to capitalize on opportunities across the categories and countries that we need to succeed in.
We have a strong foundation
Our system and our more than 500 brands position us as the world's largest total beverage company. We reach 27 million customer outlets across more than 20 different channels through our global distribution network in more than 200 countries. We hold the number one value position in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages, as well as in sparkling soft drinks; juice, dairy and plant-based beverages; water, enhanced water and sports drinks; and ready-to-drink tea and coffee. We are already in a strong position, and we are driving value growth across nearly all beverage category clusters.
We are excited to capitalize on the growth potential we see in front of us. We believe in the strength of our system, the continued growth of the beverage industry, and the actions that we are taking to win in 2018 and beyond. Thank you for joining us as we continue to build upon our iconic brands and change the way people everywhere engage with The
President and Chief Executive Officer
April 11, 2018